dude asked in Social ScienceEconomics · 1 decade ago

Thomas Sowell, a famous economist, once said that there are no economic solutions, only economic trade-offs.?

can anybody help me with an explanation of this?? you dont have to give me the whole awnser or anything im more asking for the guidelines on what i should write about.. if you do write alot i still appreciate it!!! i need help lol

7 Answers

  • Mike
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Every decision you make on what to buy or what to consume, you are NOT getting to do something else. Life is decisions based on trade-offs. I answer this question and I'm NOT playing baseball, or watching tv, or eating dinner. You get only one thing and you miss out on infinite activities.

  • 1 decade ago

    This is a fundamental law of economics. At the micro level, economics looks at each discrete decision you make, and decisions always involve trade-offs. You want to buy ice cream. You decide the ice cream is worth more than your money, and the ice cream is worth more than something else you could do with your money, such as buying some chocolate. If you think for awhile, you'll realize everything is a trade-off. Resources, such as money and time, are finite.

    That answers half your question, and the other half is a bit trickier to explain. Economists separate statements into normative and positive ones. A positive statement just describes what is. A normative one says what should be. Using ice cream as an example, a positive statement is "I bought ice cream." A normative statement is "Buying ice cream is good." With that in mind, an economic solution is necessarily normative because it says "This choice is the solution." Good economists steer clear of normative statements and prefer to say "These are your choices, and these are the outcomes." Given that positive view, you can see that you have a set of trade-offs with each choice and not a conclusive solution.

    Source(s): Graduate economics courses
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Economics is like an equation that becomes "out of balance" through time. Each time a "trade off" must be made for past mistakes like credit being too easy to obtain and then over heats the economy. To cool it off, requires saving money and slowing things up (the trade off) until an equilibrium transpires once again. Or, taxes too high needing to be off set by tax lowering adjustments. It is like the Russian economist (who's name I don't recall) referred to this as a wave syndrome of a capitalistic economy.

    Source(s): M.A. Economics 1968
  • 1 decade ago

    This goes back to the fundamental economic problem: resources are limited. The definition of the study of economics involves how to allocate scarce resources. This should be the very first thing taught in every entry level economics course.

    This scarcity can never be eliminated. It can only be dealt with. Dealing with it involves making choices; maximizing utility, minimizing opportunity costs, investing for growth vs consumption, etc.

    All of the methods to deal with this problem involve trade-offs.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Human action involves choosing one thing and setting aside all others. The more valued is chosen over the less valued. Man in this world cannot become completely satiated, and as such must forsake some things that he would like to have or do and lieu of things he believes more valuable.

  • 1 decade ago

    blah, blah, blah.

    hey Thomas...maybe the trade off IS a solution!

    It's changed, isn't it?

    It sounds like he's playing with words, to look smart. Maybe he want's some chick to go to bed with him.

  • SDD
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
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